The “Next” Chapter

Life has a funny way of teaching you the lessons you need at the right time.

Needless to say my last post on here was a bit spastic, a bit dramatic. However it was what was on my mind and what I was going thru at the time. I’ve been in what I can only consider a transitional period of my life. Everyone goes thru them, some are big: Becoming a teen, first girlfriend, first job, getting married, having kids. Some are smaller, changing jobs, moving, etc. And then there are the ones I go thru…small to the outside world but big to me. Getting back into running was a HUGE change in my life. It brought on a semi healthier life style, a whole new friend set and a horizon full of goals.

Prior to my running I was heavily involved in theatre and photography. As finances dictated I had to step back on photography at the time, theatre just happened to be along for the ride. I stopped being the go to guy. I wasn’t the guy people wanted to hire. I felt despondent, I felt unwanted. Slowly my theatre friends kind of walked (disappeared?) for the most part and I threw everything into running. Met some amazing people, helped setup a running club based on trail running. Along the way I challenged myself to take down some pretty major goals. All the while doing it with the ferver and zeal that I had something to prove,…to somebody.

I constantly tried to find a way that I was valuable to the community, but it appears that looking back, I was more wrapped up in myself. I started breaking down the walls: 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon…boom. Next up 100K…who needs 50K? 50M? sure piece of cake, a couple 50’s and a try at 100 mile just to see what happened. A slight reset and bam 100 miles off the board, along with 24+ hours.

Now what?

I had no desire to go further.

I only wanted to run 100 mile to be cool and run Western States, a constantly moving goal over the last 4 years.

So after the 100 I decided it was time to get back into doing some photography. Struggling to get my foot back in the door at the theatre I turned the lens onto my running passion. Turns out, I may be decent at this stuff. Photography started taking off, and my running suffered as I tried to figure out the big answer to “whats next?”

Met up with a couple of dudes and started The Ascend Collective with a focus on capturing these amazing events. Took some photos along the way and I am feeling comfortable about where my future in photography is headed. I spent the summer experimenting with a few things, revamped my site and put many moving parts into play to help ease my life a little bit.

During this time, I took a huge step back from running, lost not knowing what to do. I also walked away from the club I helped form. I just ran when I wanted to, nothing special. Just letting myself get right again, but at the same time, feeling as if everything and everyone was disappearing again.

I had committed to pacing a friend at Virgil 100 for a bit and at 20 miles (6+hours) in the dark, pouring rain and heavy elevation change, it would be my longest “run” since Oil Creek the year before. during the run I never really stopped to think about myself or how I was, but was more concerned and focused on Tim, the runner I was with. After leaving him, getting my rest and waking up, I realized just how good I was feeling. Within the next few days, I would register on a whim for one of the toughest 50K in the country.

For the next couple of weeks I let the runs be what they were, ran what felt good and tried to keep my self positive knowing that I had very little appropriate training leading up to the actual race. The week of the race I put myself on two hard course runs locally and felt great. The race went pretty good when all was said and done. It was hard at points, but I loved the climbing. My ankles and lower legs were not ready for extreme ankle torture, but I got thru it and survived a 50K exactly a year after running my 100 mile. Maybe I’ll write an appropriate race report sometime soon.

2015-10-11 17.12.41

Two days later I was out running a 5 mile, then a 3, then a 5. My body felt amazing. A feeling I hadn’t felt in a VERY long time. Looking back I see that I needed my time to set the pegs where they needed to be placed, I needed to figure out where and how photography fits into my future…the answer is, it fits in a big way. Running is back to a good place. I sent an email to my former coach to see if he’d be willing to take me on again and look at getting some unfinished business taken care of next year.

Still waiting on his email.

The point is…I have no point. I have been a basket case in trying to figure out what is going on with my future and making sure its the future I want. The ground work has been laid to a point where I am happy, now its time to do the work to get me there.

Life is an extreme game of balance, mixed with chance. Finding a way to make things work, and working with the things that are given to you.